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Chez Chance
     

Chez Chance

by Jay Gummerman
 

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A freak accident has left young Frank Eastman a paraplegic—a "wild card" who needs to "pair up with someone or something or he won't pass back into existence." Los Angeles, the scene of his accident, is where he imagines this existence to be. He settles into a rundown motel near Disneyland, his neighbors a wild assortment of eccentrics who, though more

Overview


A freak accident has left young Frank Eastman a paraplegic—a "wild card" who needs to "pair up with someone or something or he won't pass back into existence." Los Angeles, the scene of his accident, is where he imagines this existence to be. He settles into a rundown motel near Disneyland, his neighbors a wild assortment of eccentrics who, though more able-bodied than Frank, have learned the effectiveness of willful inability. What Frank learns from them, in magnificently odd and mesmerizing conversations, will leave him as transformed emotionally as he has been physically with a narrative at once ironic, hilarious, and poignant.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wry ontological insights and wonderfully odd yet evocative metaphors fill this witty, melancholic first novel about misfits adrift in Los Angeles and the rest of America. Unhappy in his native St. Louis, disaffected paraplegic Frank Eastman returns to L.A., where six months before, working as a tree-cutter for the phone company, he suffered the fall from atop a rat-infested palm tree that caused his paralysis. Fed up with the condescension of his well-meaning sister and full of bitter insights into the empty lifestyles of ``enabled'' people, Frank moves into the seedy Tradewinds motel, in the shadow of Disney's magic kingdom. There, among a shady cast of eccentrics and fellow malcontents, Frank wrestles with the implications of his personal predicament and with the conflicting, sometimes hallucinatory, realities of this strange milieu. Gummerman (author of the well-received short-story collection We Find Ourselves in Moontown) brings a keen critical eye to his exploration of America's fascination with the false. His lean but expressive prose is rich in imaginative figurative language, and the expansive philosophizing of his colorfully seamy characters is insightful and entertaining.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520210806
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
10/30/1997
Series:
California Fiction Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
211
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.63(d)

What People are Saying About This

David Shulman
Caustic and compassionate, rendered with the throughtful pacing of Raymond Carver, the stubborn humanity of Mark Twain and the intricate circuitry of Kurt Vonnegut, Chez Chance is a unique flailing of ownership and self-preservation against community and communication. -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

Meet the Author


Jay Gummerman is the author of the short story collection We Find Ourselves in Moontown (1990). He lives in San Clemente, California.

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